Looking back at these pictures of a year ago is actually quite fun. It was actually quite difficult to find a camping that was open for campers in the off-season. Although the winter of 2013/2014 was relatively soft, no real cold or decent amounts of snow, this winter seems to be even warmer. The photos show a nice blue sky, but when I woke up in the morning, there were little ice pellets measuring over 6mm all around the tent. The sleeping bag (Ayacucho Ignition 1700) and inflatable sleeping pad (Exped Synmat 7M) I bought on my way to Weststellingerwerf have proven to be a good buy.
Today and tomorrow are going to be all about the western Frisian municipalities. In Weststellingwerf they apparently have a Low Saxon dialect, Stellingwerfs, acknowledged by the government. It partly originated in the Society of Humanitarianism, a private organisation set up in 1818 to help poor families by granting them farming land. My grandmother and late grandfather lived there when they were young, so I’ve heard many stories about the organisation and about the conditions in which they lived there. Many times I’ve been to the museums and graveyards there, involuntarily unfortunately. But now, whenever I hear something of it in a different context, I cannot help but think that such an organisation to help the poor is not feasible anymore to maintain, and that’s a pity.
I personally know Heereveen mostly from its ice arena Thialf, being one of the fastest tracks in the world. And reminisce about the times when there were parties with over 18k visitors such as Trance Energy (RIP).
The first municipality with a real Frisian name. Boornsterhem (its Dutch name) ceased to exist at the beginning of 2014, when it was divided over Leeuwarden, Heereveen, Súdwest-Fryslân and De Friese Meren, because of its poor financial status.
It is named after the river Boorn (cf. the Dutch bron, “spring”), and him, which means residence.
Home (and start and finish) of the Elfstedentocht, a 200km long skating tour with over 16k participants, leading past all eleven historical cities of the province. Every winter it’s the same story: is it cold enough to grow at least 15cm of natural ice along the entire course? Sometimes years in a row the match cannot be held due to the lack of ice thickness; The last three races were in ’85, ’86 and ’97. But, if the ice is thick enough, you’ll surely hear it on every medium; the race is then announced and starts within 48 hours.
Over the years Leeuwarderadeel has been giving up villages to Leeuwarden. Since the middle ages Leeuwarderadeel has been independent from Leeuwarden, but in 2018 they will reunite.
In 2008 the newspaper Algemeen Dagblad declared Ferwerderadiel to be the safest municipality of the Netherlands. The list of 2010 even contained 7 top-10 positions for municipalities from Frisia.
If I’m correct it’s the first municipality with a Wadden Sea coast line. Also, it’s the smallest of the province, in terms of population.
One of the eldest polders, and the name also refers to the reclamation (ca 1400) of land: it is derived from opgebild, which means something like dredged soil. In Frisia most place names are in Frisian, and in smaller font in Dutch. But in Het Bildt all place names are in Dutch and the Bild dialect.
If you are ever around, visit the Eisinga Planetarium. It houses a 18th-century orrery, built by Eise Eisinga. It’s a small museum these days, but very interesting.
This was day 1 of two days (remember, I went camping…). In the next post, there will be 6 more Frisian municipalities.
km total: 4319
done: 9 (117)
to do: 298